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Qinghaihu National Park (青海湖 国家公园) is in Qinghai province.
Qinghai Lake in the northeast part of the province is the largest inland saltwater lake in China. The 0.8 sq-km Bird Islet is a paradise for more than 100,000 migratory birds, including bar-headed geese, brown-headed gulls, swans, and wild ducks. May through October is the best time for bird-watching.
Flora and fauna
In Qinghai's capital, Xining, it's hard not to wind up at the lake. Touts shout "Qinghai Hu! Qinghai Hu!" at both the bus and train stations, while it seems that very taxi driver in town will try to turn a three-kilometer journey into an overnight excursion to the lake. Be careful, and bargain hard.
There are three main ways to get to the lake:
- Private car - These can be hired from a travel agent for 400 RMB. Or try approaching any taxi driver, they or someone they know can take you to the lake for cheaper.
- Tour - A number of companies in town offer trips to the lake. The standard run stops at Bird Island, the lake, a former nuclear testing site and several jade stores in a long day trip from Xining. Prices start at around 100 RMB, which doesn't include entrance fees that more than double the price.
- Public Bus - Most westbound buses from Xining pass by the lake. Just buy a ticket and tell the driver you want to get off at the lake.